Manchester dentists call for emergency action to stem the rising tide of childhood decay

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Dentists in Manchester have called for emergency action to stem the rising tide of childhood decay in the city.

According to statistics, children in Manchester are up to 60 percent more likely to be admitted to hospital for dental treatment than children living in other parts of the country. Dentists are worried that children are at risk of complications and are calling for urgent help to tackle the problem of childhood decay. Decay is almost always preventable, yet more than 15,000 extractions were performed under general anaesthetic in England last year.

Five-year old children in Salford, Rochdale and Oldham are six times more likely to suffer from tooth decay than children living in Surrey.

Aside from the risks associated with putting children under general anaesthetic for treatment, dentists are also worried about the cost borne by the NHS. The health budget, which is already under considerable strain, is being pushed to the limits, and these procedures could be avoided with good dental hygiene, dental check-ups and healthy eating habits.

Salford dentist, Ben Atkins, said that he sees children with decay on a daily basis, and there is often no other appropriate course of action but to remove the rotten tooth or refer the child to hospital for multiple extractions. Decay is preventable, and that’s what makes the situation so frustrating and heart-breaking for dentists. Together with other local dentists, the Revive Dental Care dentist is calling for greater investment in preventative measures and encouraging parents to supervise brushing, keep an eye on their child’s sugar intake and take their children to the dentist every 6 months.

The British Dental Association has appealed to politicians in the region to restrict the availability of sugary foods in schools and to introduce new initiatives to improve dental education and encourage parents and children to adopt better dental health habits.

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